, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 317-357

First-Year College Students’ Conflict with Religion and Science

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Abstract

This study took place during a First Year Seminar course where 20 incoming college freshmen studied the central topic of the nature of science within the context of biological evolution. The instructor researched students’ understandings in the nature of science as they progressed through the course by examining a variety of qualitative and quantitative data including class writings, pre- and post-test selected items from the VOSTS (Views on Science-Technology-Society), and interviews. The intended outcomes of the course were to reduce the number of student misconceptions in the nature of science and to ease student apprehension when learning about evolution. Data were analyzed to determine whether students were moving toward a more generally accepted idea of the nature of science or toward another type of misconception.